Power Rankings: Food City 500 From Bristol


Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Power Rankings for the Food City 500 from Bristol are below.  Let’s hope that the return to short-track racing will yield more excitement than did the Texas race.  I know the last few restarts gave some excitement, but perhaps its time for Texas Motor Speedway to follow California’s and Pocono’s lead and consider a 400-mile event… but that’s a story for a different day.

New to the list this week:  19

Leaving the list this week:  20

Honorable Mentions

HM. (Last Week: NR) – In the wake of the “tire gate” penalties and RCR’s decision to appeal them, it would have been easy for this group to become distracted.  They didn’t, and just missed a top-10 finish.. No. 31. Richard Childress Racing. RYAN NEWMAN

HM. (Last Week: NR) – The 14<sup>th</sup>-place race result was not indicative of the solid weekend that this team had, nor did it show their early race strength.  It’s only a matter of time before this team is in the winner’s circle.. No. 41. Stewart-Haas Racing. KURT BUSCH

Power Rankings

CARL EDWARDS. #10. (Last Week: NR) – Edwards seems to have found something of late, as have all of the JGR cars.  His talent combined with crew chief Darien Grubb’s expertise and JGR’s resources were expected to bring big results in 2015.  This might be a start.. No. 19. Joe Gibbs Racing

(Last Week: 8) – Some speculation abounds about Ragan’s time remaining in this ride.  Similar to Newman and his team, that did not prove to be a distraction, and Ragan capably brought home a 13<sup>th</sup>-place finish.. No. 18. Joe Gibbs Racing. DAVID RAGAN. #9

#8. (Last Week: 6) – Denny was so excited to showcase his 12<sup>th</sup>-place result, that he drove through just about half the field’s pit boxes after a stop once to celebrate.  Got busted and rallied back.  That’s two weeks in a row, though; and three times this year.. No. 11. Joe Gibbs Racing. DENNY HAMLIN

#7. (Last Week: 4) – The Top-10 streak continued for a seventh straight week, although 9th-place seems like a bad day for them.  Bristol and Richmond will be fun!. No. 78. Furniture Row Racing. MARTIN TRUEX, JR.

#6. (Last Week: 1) –. I don’t think Brad had a commitment line violation as NASCAR did.  Rather, he tried knocking the commitment cone into the middle of next week.. No. 2. Team Penske. BRAD KESELOWSKI

Hendrick Motorsports. JEFF GORDON. #5. (Last Week: 5) – Jeff was a lightning rod for drama in the last Texas race; I guess that’s why he rode around in Saturday night’s snoozer.  Either that, or he was still trying to recover from his recent meeting with the President.. No. 24

#4. (Last Week: 2) – Joey was about the only Team Penske car from either series (NASCAR or IndyCar) that didn’t have a mark on it after the weekend, which is pretty remarkable when you think about it because just one segment of the Duck Commander 500 had more green-flag laps than did the entire IndyCar race.. No. 22. Team Penske. JOEY LOGANO

No. 88. Hendrick Motorsports. DALE EARNHARDT, JR.. #3. (Last Week: 9) – This driver / crew chief pairing is what many thought the Edwards / Grubb team would be.  Some of Dale’s favorite tracks are just ahead.  Take note.

#2. (Last Week: 10) – He made the biggest improvement in finishing position this week than did any of last week’s ranked drivers, so by default he jumps to number two on the list.  Just when you were on the verge of dropping out, too….  . No. 48. Hendrick Motorsports. JIMMIE JOHNSON

(Last Week: 3) – Looking again at the weekend as a whole, combined with the No. 2’s small slip this week brings no other choice but to return Harvick and team to what should be their rightful spot on the list.. No.4. Stewart-Haas Racing. KEVIN HARVICK. #1

What do you think?  Did your driver make the list?  Who would you have included?  Excluded?  Discuss below!

Next: Breaking News: Update On Kyle Busch